How to Get Rid of Pimples for Good
Oil, dead skin cells and bacteria combine within pores to form pimples, according to Discovery Health. If you're constantly battling persistent, painful pimples, you're not alone. Acne affects 40 to 50 million Americans and 85 percent of teenagers, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Although acne can seem like an endless cycle of flare-ups, several treatments and healthy habits can get rid of pimples for good and reduce your risk of lasting physical damage.
Cleanse your skin once or twice a day with warm water and a gentle cleanser. Occasional washing will help remove excess oil and control acne, but washing too often and scrubbing too vigorously can irritate your skin and aggravate your acne, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Also, wash your hair daily if it is oily and you get pimples around your hairline, advises the Mayo Clinic.
Use only oil-free cosmetics. Greasy cosmetics, hair products, concealers and sunscreens can clog pores and cause more pimples. Products labeled "non-comedogenic," "water-based," "non-acnegenic" or "won't clog pores" are safer to use on skin that is prone to acne, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Steer clear of aggravating foods. Although there aren't specific foods that lead to pimples in all people, you may find that some foods make your acne worse. For example, you may find that eating greasy foods leads to pimples because the vegetable oil can easily contact the skin, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
Distract yourself when you get the urge to pick at your blemishes. Picking and squeezing your pimples can cause them to become infected or lead to scarring on your face, according to the Mayo Clinic. Ask your dermatologist for help if you want to get rid of a particularly aggressive pimple before an important event.
Avoid skin contact with sweaty, oily or dirty surfaces. One major surface that commonly comes into contact with your skin is your hands, so wash your hands often and do your best to avoid resting your chin and forehead on them. Other objects that can frequently expose your skin to dirt, sweat and oil are: the face of your cell phone, tight hats and clothing, and chin straps on helmets.
Apply an over-the-counter acne lotion. Acne lotions can help kill bacteria, dry up oil and aid in sloughing dead cells, according to the Mayo Clinic. Find a lotion that contains benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid; if you don't notice an improvement in your skin within the first month, try a product with the other ingredient.
Ask a doctor or dermatologist about prescription treatments and therapies. Your dermatologist will take into consideration your age, gender, health conditions and the severity of your acne. She may prescribe a topical product that is more potent than over-the-counter lotions, prescribe an oral medication that works within your body or combine the two treatments. She may also recommend laser and light-based therapies or cosmetic procedures such as microdermabrasion and chemical peels.
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